Author: stephen

Shared Medical Practice Accountant Can Be A Cost Efficient Option

Shared Medical Practice Accountant Can Be A Cost Efficient Option

What Are Debits and Credits?

Debits and credits form the basis of the double-entry accounting system of a business. Debits represent money that is paid out of an account and credits represent money that is paid into an account. Each financial transaction made by a business firm must have at least one debit and credit recorded to the business’s accounting ledger in equal, but opposite, amounts.

Bookkeepers and accountants use debits and credits to balance each recorded financial transaction for certain accounts on the company’s balance sheet and income statement. Debits and credits, used in a double-entry accounting system, allow the business to more easily balance its books at the end of each time period.

What Are Debits and Credits?

Debits, abbreviated as Dr, are one side of a financial transaction that is recorded on the left-hand side of the accounting journal. Credits, abbreviated as Cr, are the other side of a financial transaction and they are recorded on the right-hand side of the accounting journal. There must be a minimum of one debit and one credit for each financial transaction, but there is no maximum number of debits and credits for each financial transaction.

The business’s Chart of Accounts helps the firm’s management determine which account is debited and which is credited for each financial transaction. There are five main accounts, at least two of which must be debited and credited in a financial transaction. Those accounts are the Asset, Liability, Shareholder’s Equity, Revenue, and Expense accounts along with their sub-accounts.

A debit increases both the asset and expense accounts. The asset accounts are on the balance sheet and the expense accounts are on the income statement. A credit increases a revenue, liability, or equity account. The revenue account is on the income statement. The liability and equity accounts are on the balance sheet.

 

Concept of Double Entry

Every transaction has two effects. For example, if someone transacts a purchase of a drink from a local store, he pays cash to the shopkeeper and in return, he gets a bottle of dink. This simple transaction has two effects from the perspective of both, the buyer as well as the seller. The buyer’s cash balance would decrease by the amount of the cost of purchase while on the other hand he will acquire a bottle of drink. Conversely, the seller will be one drink short though his cash balance would increase by the price of the drink.

Accounting attempts to record both effects of a transaction or event on the entity’s financial statements. This is the application of double entry concept. Without applying double entry concept, accounting records would only reflect a partial view of the company’s affairs. Imagine if an entity purchased a machine during a year, but the accounting records do not show whether the machine was purchased for cash or on credit. Perhaps the machine was bought in exchange of another machine. Such information can only be gained from accounting records if both effects of a transaction are accounted for.

Traditionally, the two effects of an accounting entry are known as Debit (Dr) and Credit (Cr). Accounting system is based on the principal that for every Debit entry, there will always be an equal Credit entry. This is known as the Duality Principal.

Debit entries are ones that account for the following effects:

  • Increase in assets
  • Increase in expense
  • Decrease in liability
  • Decrease in equity
  • Decrease in income

Credit entries are ones that account for the following effects:

  • Decrease in assets
  • Decrease in expense
  • Increase in liability
  • Increase in equity
  • Increase in income

 

Accounting entries

In the double-entry accounting system, at least two accounting entries are required to record each financial transaction. These entries may occur in asset, liability, equity, expense, or revenue accounts. Recording of a debit amount to one or more accounts and an equal credit amount to one or more accounts results in total debits being equal to total credits when considering all accounts in the general ledger. If the accounting entries are recorded without error, the aggregate balance of all accounts having Debit balances will be equal to the aggregate balance of all accounts having Credit balances. Accounting entries that debit and credit related accounts typically include the same date and identifying code in both accounts, so that in case of error, each debit and credit can be traced back to a journal and transaction source document, thus preserving an audit trail. The accounting entries are recorded in the “Books of Accounts”. Regardless of which accounts and how many are involved by a given transaction, the fundamental accounting equation of assets equal liabilities plus equity will hold.

 

What is a T-account?

A T-account is a visual way of displaying the transactions occurring within a single account. Any transaction a business makes will need to be recorded in the company’s general ledger. The general ledger is divided up into individual accounts which categorise similar transaction types together.

The reason it’s called a T-account is simply that it is shaped like a T.

  • When you debit an asset or expense account, you increase its value.
  • When you debit a liability, equity or revenue account, you decrease its value.
  • When you credit an asset or expense account, you reduce its value.
  • When you credit a liability, equity or revenue account, you increase its value.
  • When a company records a transaction, at least one account will always be debited, whilst at least one other will always be credited, hence the name “double-entry”. These entries show the movement of value around the business.

 

Accounting equation approach

This approach is also called the American approach. Under this approach transactions are recorded based on the accounting equation, i.e., Assets = Liabilities + Capital.[18] The accounting equation is a statement of equality between the debits and the credits. The rules of debit and credit depend on the nature of an account. For the purpose of the accounting equation approach, all the accounts are classified into the following five types: assets, capital, liabilities, revenues/incomes, or expenses/losses.

If there is an increase or decrease in a set of accounts, there will be equal decrease or increase in another set of accounts. Accordingly, the following rules of debit and credit hold for the various categories of accounts:

  • Assets Accounts: debit entry represents an increase in assets and a credit entry represents a decrease in assets.
  • Capital Account: credit entry represents an increase in capital and a debit entry represents a decrease in capital.
  • Liabilities Accounts: credit entry represents an increase in liabilities and a debit entry represents a decrease in liabilities.
  • Revenues or Incomes Accounts: credit entry represents an increase in incomes and gains, and debit entry represents a decrease in incomes and gains.
  • Expenses or Losses Accounts: debit entry represents an increase in expenses and losses, and credit entry represents a decrease in expenses and losses.

These five rules help learning about accounting entries and also are comparable with traditional (British) accounting rules.

About Essential House Cleaning Tips

About Essential House Cleaning Tips

Guide to Keeping Your House Clean

If cleaning the house seems like one big chore, you’re probably doing it wrong. Before you put off cleaning for yet another month, here are some ways to make housework a comfortable and even enjoyable part of your daily routine.

Start small

If you begin and end each day with a little picking up, you’ll never get swamped with housework again. Keeping a clean house begins with good habits like making your bed every morning and cleaning the dishes while you cook. Nobody wants to navigate through a minefield of yesterday’s mess to make coffee, so never allow yourself to fall asleep with dirty dishes or a disheveled living room

Enjoy yourself

Even the most reviled of household chores can be enjoyable if you have some headphones or a portable speaker. Truth be told, cleaning the house is a hidden source of me time that you’ll eventually learn to love.

For example, if you think vacuuming kind of sucks, listen to an energetic playlist of your favorite songs and sway to the music like nobody’s watching. If you haven’t had much time to read lately, listen to audiobooks and podcasts while you do the dishes. If you’re a parent and miss watching movies and shows without singing princesses, prop up your phone or tablet and use some wireless headphones to do a little binge-watching. Yay for chores!

Simplify your chore list

Rather than making a never-ending list of unattainable projects, break it up into manageable, bite-sized pieces. Get a blank sheet of paper and make four columns: Daily, Weekly, Monthly and Yearly. Everyday chores like making the bed, picking up the house and doing the dishes can go in the Daily column. Chores like vacuuming and dusting can go in either the Weekly or Monthly column, depending on what’s realistic for your lifestyle. Reserve the Yearly column for big projects like cleaning the oven, shampooing the carpet and wiping down the fan blades.

 

THE LAZY GENIUS GUIDE TO CLEANING YOUR HOUSE

It feels easier to burn it down than to clean it sometimes. So much dust, so little time. Necessary arson, you guys. But even so, in the fire, we’d lose the charts we never checked off and the homemade cleaner that smelled of Easter eggs and sadness.

Know your angles.

Right now, your perspective towards cleaning is likely volatile and antagonistic. Dirt is the enemy, and it’s winning the war. Sometimes, I feel like the dirt in my house is toying with me; it’s a psychological predator.

It feels like we can’t win, so what’s the point? Just pseudo-clean when people are coming over, and let that be the routine, right? Maybe. But if you aren’t in the habit of inviting people over, you might reach arson mode quicker than you’d like

We see cleaning as a utilitarian drudgery, but if we shift our perspective to keeping the home instead of cleaning the house, we allow ourselves the chance to recognize the good parts. Decide what clean means for you, redefine cleaning as replenishing good things, and keep in mind why home is a place you love to be. Those principles along with seven others can reignite an appreciation for the domestic without turning you into June Cleaver.

Prioritize the emotional.

The bigger your house, the more there is to do, but even if you live in a studio apartment, a robust list of cleaning tasks are vying for priority. What do you do first? What’s the most important use of your limited cleaning time?

 

A Guide to Tipping House Cleaners

If you hire someone to clean your home, you may be wondering: How much should I tip my house cleaner? What about at Christmas? Should you tip even if you’re not happy with the work? These and other questions you may have about tipping house cleaners will be answered in the rest of the article.

What does it cost to hire a house cleaner?

If you hire a house cleaner through a company, you may pay between $20 and $45 per hour. It’s a good idea to investigate more than one cleaning company to compare prices. An individual house cleaner may charge less an hour because they don’t have the overhead that a large company does

How Much to Tip House Cleaners?

To decide how much to tip house cleaners depends partly on the way you employ them in the first place. You might hire a house cleaner directly, or through an agency. Some agencies pay minimum wage, while others pay more and don’t allow tipping.

If you hire a cleaning person directly for a one-time cleaning or if you want them to clean infrequently, tipping between $10 to $20 a cleaning is fair. But, if you hire your home cleaner directly and use them year round, a cash bonus or a gift at the end of the year is appropriate. The bonus should be the equivalent of one week’s pay.

If you hire through an agency and they only pay minimum wage, a tip for cleaning is appreciated. This is how the house cleaner makes a little extra money. The general rule is to tip between $10 to $20 per service. In fact, most agencies rely on people paying a house cleaner a tip to get them over the minimum wage hump.

 

Tips & Tricks for Clean Hotel Rooms

Forget uncomfortable beds, poor service, or itchy bathrobes: hotel guests are most likely to be put off by poor housekeeping. guests never expect to be greeted by dirt, hair, or dust in their room, and complaints or negative reviews are understandable if this does happen. And, given that the majority of customers will read online reviews before booking a hotel these days, that can pose a real threat to your business.

Clearly, an effective housekeeping strategy needs to be a top priority for any hotelier. In this guide, we’ll show you how to properly clean your rooms and bathrooms, as well as share some tips for impressing your guests

This guide will cover:

What are the duties of housekeeping in a hotel

Creating a housekeeping strategy

How to clean a hotel room: a step by step guide

How to clean a hotel bathroom: a step by step guide

Cleaning products, equipment, and supplies

What are the duties of housekeeping in a hotel?

Good housekeeping is an invisible service, in that guests only really take notice of it when your team fails to deliver the expected standard of cleanliness. A hotel room could play host to hundreds of different guests each year, but no guest wants their room to feel used, which is why it’s the role of your housekeeping staff to ensure that there is no evidence of any previous occupants, and that every room is completely clean from top to bottom

Creating a housekeeping strategy

If you want your guest bedrooms to be as clean as possible, you’ll need to have an effective housekeeping strategy in place. That means working out how many staff you need to employ per shift and creating a checklist for them to follow in each area to ensure cleaning standards are met.

 

Point checklist when booking home cleaning services

Deep cleaning your home from time to time is important. Many people opt for these services before a major festival, such as Diwali or Christmas, or a big family event, such as a wedding. And with the festive season coming up, you too may now look to avail of such a service

Expense: While everyone likes to get the best service on offer, the price may at times become a constraint. Different people have different budgets to work with. So, you must take out your calculator, do the math and see exactly how much you want to spend on cleaning activity. House deep cleaning prices depend on several factors, such as the number of rooms to be cleaned, number of cleaners required, type of equipment used and cleaning products or chemicals used. As a result, different home cleaning service providers offer varying rates. So, take some time and compare the best deals available to you.  Do speak to at least three cleaning service providers to find the best deal.

Services offered: Next, and very importantly, you have to see what services are on offer. You may have a specific requirement, like deep cleaning beds and couches, or you may need to go in for a complete deep cleaning of the entire house. Check to see what services are offered by the cleaners of your choice. For example, if you are opting for a bathroom cleaning service, you must look for the exclusions and inclusions. Check the fine print to see whether or not the tub cleaning services are included. If you are not satisfied with the package or the individual home cleaning services offered, look for a different service provider.

Time: Next, you should ascertain how much time the cleaners will take to complete the job. You may need to ask them to spread the job over a couple of days if it takes too long or you can choose to have it done all in one day. So speak to the cleaners beforehand to understand exactly how long the service will take. You may need to plan your own schedule accordingly and make the necessary arrangements to fit in the cleaning service in your busy schedule. For example, if you are also planning to get pest control done, the cleaning job will have to be completed prior to that. So, check whether the timing is correct before booking a home cleaning service.

Safety: You must check whether the products used in cleaning the house are safe for your children and pets. Speak to the service provider and ask them about this. These days, most of the products used are safe and free of harmful chemicals. However, there may be a few cleaners who use industrial chemicals to do the job. Be clear about these things and if needed, move your pets and kids to a neighbour or friend’s house for the time being. Also, if any member of the family is allergic to any specific item, inform the cleaners or ask the family member to vacate the house for the duration of the cleaning. If, however, the service providers promise to use only natural and safe products to clean the house, you can have every one stay in the house while the cleaning takes place.

Dentist Service Accessibility Is Important Given Its Location

Dentist Service Accessibility Is Important Given Its Location

Dental Emergency During Quarantine? Here’s What to Do Next!

With the Coronavirus spreading in full force, you’re probably self-quarantined, as you should be, to help keep you and your family safe. But what happens if you have a dental emergency? With most dentists closed during this time, what should you do if you bite down and crack your tooth or experience extreme pain? Thankfully, your dentist has some tips to help you make yourself more comfortable at home, and they’re still ready to treat your dental emergency. Keep reading to learn what you should do if you have tooth pain during this strange time.

Do You Have a Toothache?

A toothache can seem like it comes out of nowhere, however it is usually caused by poor dental hygiene. When plaque builds up, it interacts with bacteria in your mouth to create acids. This can cause decay, but it can also lead to infection in the tooth. If this occurs, you may experience pain and piercing sensitivity. Should this happen, call your dentist right away because you may need a root canal. Your dentist will still perform emergency services during the Covid-19 outbreak to keep you as healthy as possible.

Did You Chip or Break Your Tooth?

One of the activities you may be enjoying during quarantine is snacking. However, a hard bite on the wrong popcorn kernel could fracture your tooth, putting you in intense pain. If your tooth breaks, pick up any pieces, rinse them, and store them in a safe place. Use gauze to ease bleeding and apply a cold compress or a bag of frozen veggies to reduce swelling. If you’ve lost or broken a crown or filling, you can use dental cement to repair it. However, if you don’t have this product, you can temporarily protect your tooth with sugarless gum. Your next move is to call your dentist immediately. Although they are closed, they will still treat dental emergencies to get you out of pain and back to smiling.

Did Your Tooth Get Knocked Out?

You may be engaging in indoor exercise due to the quarantine, however this often limits space and increases risk of dental injury. If a tooth gets knocked out while roughhousing with the family, pick it up by the crown and gently rinse it off. After, store it in milk or water to keep it moist and apply gauze to your mouth if the area is bleeding. Once you’ve made yourself more comfortable, contact your dentist right away for treatment. The sooner you can visit their office, the better your chances are of successfully replanting it.

Now that you know what to do if a dental emergency happens during quarantine, no need to worry! Remember these tips and that your dentist is still here to help in your time of need.

 

Things your dentist doesn’t want you to know

Your  dentist sees you as a profit center rather than a patient.

Everyone gets the business thing.  Football players tell us this all the time…but this is health care and an ethical dentist MUST put the patient first.  That is the real definition of professional.  Dentists who do this usually relate everything to the “time is money” philosophy.  They usually run behind and are over-scheduled.

Your dentist just took a weekend course in an advanced surgical technique—-and you are his Monday morning experiment.

Yes, it’s true…we call these dentists gunslingers.  Many procedures dentists do are fairly safe and reversible, but others are way beyond the skill level necessary for performance.  When dentistry is a business and new “profit centers” are available…some dentists go beyond their limitations.

Many dentists are nothing more than tooth jockeys.

That means that they don’t look at the whole patient.  Granted, some patients may be satisfied with this standard, but most people go to the dentist for a long-term result.  If a practice is set up to treat single teeth, it’s unlikely that the patient will accomplish anything worthwhile.  You know if your dentist is committed to your comprehensive care and long-term results if he does a comprehensive examination which includes the teeth, the gums, the bite and an oral cancer examination.

The dentist uses the cheapest materials available and charges you for “the best.”

Dentistry is a blind service.  Look, every business tries to cut down on expenses but at least it should be disclosed.  When the patient goes to a dentist because of price…duh, how do people really think that works.

 

What happens when you visit an NHS dentist

When you see your dentist for a check-up, they will first carry out an examination or assessment. This is the first part of each course of NHS treatment and is included in the Band 1 ($22.70) charge.

You do not have to register with a dentist in the same way as with a GP to receive NHS treatment. Therefore, you should not be asked to have an examination or pay for any private work before being accepted by an NHS dentist.

If you want to have any cosmetic dental treatment, such as tooth whitening, this will be done privately. Ask your dentist how much this will cost.

At your check-up, your dentist will assess your mouth, teeth and gums and advise you how to look after them.

 

What will happen at your check-up?

At your check-up, your dentist may:

  • ask you about your medical history and whether you are currently taking any medicine
  • carry out a full examination of your mouth, teeth and gums
  • ask about your general health and any problems you have had with your teeth, mouth or gums since your last visit
  • ask about and give advice on your diet, smoking and drinking
  • ask about your teeth-cleaning habits and give you advice on the best ways to keep your mouth, teeth and gums healthy
  • explain any risks, as well as dental costs, of all treatment you may need
  • discuss with you when your next visit should be

Many of us have got used to going to the dentist every 6 months but you might need to go more often or less often than this depending on how healthy your mouth and teeth are. Your dentist should talk to you about when you should have your next appointment.

If you have problems with your teeth between check-ups, contact your dental surgery to make an earlier appointment.

 

Information you should find at your dental surgery

When you visit your dental surgery, some information should be clearly displayed:

  • a poster about current NHS dental charges
  • the surgery’s complaints procedure
  • a written statement about how the surgery meets the requirements for infection control, health and safety, X-rays and continuing professional development of dentists

In addition, you should be given a leaflet about the surgery and its services. If you cannot find any of the information, you have the right to ask for it.

What your dentist should not do

Your dentist should not:

  • offer NHS treatment to children on condition that a parent or guardian becomes a private patient
  • suggest that NHS treatment is sub-standard
  • make you pay privately for an examination to assess whether you will be accepted for NHS treatment
  • charge you for missed appointments for NHS treatment
  • charge you a deposit before any assessment of your treatment needs has been carried out
Marketing Your Vacation Rental Cleaning

Marketing Your Vacation Rental Cleaning

Vacation Rental Housekeeping Professionals and Vacation Rental Management Association Introduce New Cleaning Guidelines

The new guidelines are part of the VRMA & VRHP SafeHome campaign, which empowers members to adopt and execute safe travel standards that conform to—and, in many cases, exceed—those that are mandated nationally, statewide or locally. The SafeHome initiative encourages all vacation rental management professionals to openly communicate with guests and employees about the precautions they are taking to help keep them safe and healthy.

The guidelines include recommendations for augmenting existing cleaning programs to account for COVID-19, including:

Disinfection and sanitization techniques

Proper use of personal protective equipment

Recommended products, cleaning agents and equipment

Updated cleaning and inspection processes for soft surfaces, upholstery and linens

Trash removal and maintenance processes

Communicating expanded cleaning processes to guests

“Cleaning a vacation rental is no small task, even when we are not faced with a global pandemic,” said, executive director of VRHP. “Housekeepers are responsible for completely resetting properties and creating a like-new experience for arriving guests. These new guidelines are intended to enhance the safety of properties, and provide more peace-of-mind for property owners and guests.”

Because guest and employee safety is paramount, VRMA and VRHP will continue their efforts to educate and inform members and the professional vacation rental management community overall of evolving guidelines and recommendations so that they are always able to provide a safe and enjoyable environment to guests, staff and the general public.

“Vacation rental professionals have historically set the standard for cleaning within the travel industry, and these guidelines memorialize an enhanced level of care in a COVID-19-impacted industry.” said, president of VRMA. “The COVID-19 pandemic makes proper and thorough cleaning methods, specific training, appropriate supplies and a systematic process even more vital to our industry. We can count on our professional community to rise to this occasion and restore confidence within our local governments and guest populations that staying in a professionally managed vacation rental is the safest way to enjoy travel.”

 

Cleaning Policies & Procedures

We know that there is heightened uncertainty around travel with the coronavirus (COVID-19), so we want to proactively share the steps we’ve taken to ensure your health and safety. Our Housekeeping Team has received proper training and instruction based on CDC cleaning guidelines.

Utilize CDC approved sanitizing and disinfecting products approved for killing the Covid-19 virus will be followed

Housekeeping teams will use fresh, laundered cleaning rags for each property to avoid the spread of germs from one home to another

Sheets and towels, where provided, are cleaned in industrial grade washer(s)/dryer(s) using appropriate chemicals and dried at proper temperatures.  Bed coverings are sanitized using a sanitizing spray that is distributing on the bed coverings.

Housekeeping and Maintenance staff will adhere to social distancing guidelines while working in homes and will wear appropriate face masks and gloves

Particular attention shall be paid to the disinfecting of high touch or hot spot items in between rental turns using CDC approved disinfecting products. Such areas include, but not limited to:

Appliance Buttons/Handles

Cabinet Knobs/Handles

Lamp Switches and Wall Switches

Door Knobs/Handles

Remote Controls

Electronics Controls

Phone Receivers

We strongly suggest that you also bring your own preferred cleaning supplies with you in order to keep your rental home sanitized and disinfected during your stay.

 

Cleaning recommendations, including 24 hours between rentals

Corrections & clarifications: A previous version of this story indicated some of Airbnb’s new cleaning guidelines were required. They are required only for Airbnb hosts who participate in an optional program.

The home-sharing service, under pressure from the coronavirus crisis, said Monday that it is establishing a new recommended “cleaning protocol” with the goal of reassuring both rental property hosts and their guests.

Airbnb said in a statement that the optional protocol will offer guidance on the best and safest practices for cleansing a residence’s various rooms. It will include a manual more than 40 pages long establishing the standards, as well as specifying particular chemicals and other products to do the job.

The protocol, for those hosts who choose to opt in, will also require a minimum 24 hours between rentals to reduce the chance a guest might encounter any residual viruses. Potential guests will be able to see whether hosts have opted in.

A top company official said Airbnb knows from surveys that cleanliness is a high priority with guests. “It was clear they wanted to know what you were doing to make sure the place itself would be clean,”

 

Airbnb Releases New Cleaning Protocol Program in Wake of Coronavirus

As Airbnb wants their guests to feel comfortable and at ease when travel ramps up again following the coronavirus pandemic, the home-sharing company has released a new set of standards when it comes to cleaning and sanitizing.

includes a certification program for hosts and specifically follows CDC sanitation standards in the wake of COVID-19, according to an announcement on Monday. Users will be able to filter searches for hosts who have earned the certification under the new protocol, aptly named The Cleaning Protocol.

With guidance of how to specifically clean each room, the protocol also complies with many CDC recommendations including a rule requiring a 24-hour vacancy period between guest reservations.

“Homes have become a place of shelter, and the future of travel will also rely on a new comfort zone, with the privacy and benefits of a home away from home, without crowds or high turnovers,” “We are working with leading experts in health and hygiene so that our community’s trademark hospitality can incorporate official guidance and fulfill new personal preferences, with hosts and guests uniting to offer, manage and enjoy cleaner accommodations.”

Hosts who do not opt into the Cleaning Protocol are able to participate in a “Booking Buffer” program that requires a 72-hour vacancy period after each stay when homes will be empty, except for cleaning.

 

[COVID-19 FAQ] What Should I Tell Short-Term Rental Operators?

While there may be less demand for short-term rentals during the COVID-19 pandemic, many hosts are still renting STRs to guests. This may be illegal in places where government leaders have suspended STR ordinances amid the crisis or residents have been ordered to remain home. In other places, government leaders are discouraging nonessential business.

For communities without traditional lodging options like hotels or where hotels have closed, STRs may be able to offer necessary lodging for sick and stranded travelers when others cannot. In places requiring sick travelers stay where they are, STR guests may be extending their stay past their scheduled booking.

Whether that means STRs in your community need to suspend operations or not, you will need to communicate with hosts about key COVID-19 messages. Good news! We have your communications to hosts covered. Read on to find letter templates and tips for communicating to hosts during this public health crisis.

How Do I Communicate With Hosts About STR Closures?

Should your community suspend the ability for hosts to rent out their STRs, you will need to communicate with hosts quickly and effectively. Our experts at Host Compliance, now a part of Granicus, recommend the following language.

If you have received this message in error, and you do not have a short-term rental, then please accept our apologies. If you do have a short-term rental, please read the message below.

A Local State Mosquitoes Control Mist System

A Local State Mosquitoes Control Mist System

How to Get Rid Of Pests At Home Naturally!

Cockroaches, ants, flies, bed bugs, spiders and rodents etc. are some of the most unwelcome guests at home that all of us want to get rid of. These common home pests not only damage physical property but also cause serious health problems by spreading diseases. While there are plenty of products available in the market for controlling pests, natural pest control methods are the easiest, most cost-effective and safest bet. So, here’s our list of must-try natural pest control methods.

Which Natural Mosquito Repellents to Use At Home

Early morning and evening are the peak hours when mosquitos enter our homes. Mosquitos carry and spread some life-threatening diseases as well. It’s important to keep your child away from mosquitos. Though there are many repellents available, their overuse is unhealthy. Here are a few natural pest control methods and ways to get rid of mosquitos at home.

Neem Oil: It’s a great organic mosquito repellent that helps keep mosquitos away. A mixture of neem oil and coconut oil can be used. Sallanin present in neem is effective and organic pest repellents that specifically controls mosquitos. This natural oil extracted from neem tree can be applied over your body to avoid mosquito bites.

More flowers: planting more flowery plants like marigold, rosemary, lemon balm and catnip repel mosquitos and also make the air fresh.

Mosquito repellent candles: Using wax and essential oils you can make mosquito repellent candles that can help you get a relief from mosquitos. Cove oil, lavender oil, peppermint oil, rosemary oil etc can be used for making candles.

 

Mosquito Identification Guide

What are mosquitoes?

Mosquitoes are annoying pests that deliver itchy bites in order to feed on the blood of their human and animal hosts. Mosquitoes are small, fly-like insects with narrow bodies, a pair of translucent wings, and long, thin legs. Mosquitoes also have an elongated mouthpart called a proboscis that they use for feeding. Females use their proboscis to consume blood meals. Both males and females use their proboscis to feed on plant nectar – their primary food source.

Are mosquitoes dangerous?

Apart from being nuisance pests, mosquitoes are dangerous and can transmit a variety of diseases to both people and animals. They spread things like West Nile virus, eastern equine encephalitis, and more. Mosquitoes are a threat to our pets as well, transmitting parasitic heartworms to them, which, if not treated, can be deadly.

Why do I have a mosquito problem?

Mosquitoes are hard to avoid. They live and breed outside and can travel for several miles in search of food. Properties with areas of standing water to lay their eggs are highly attractive to mosquitoes. Both females and males feed on plant nectar as their main food source, so properties with a lot of flowering trees and shrubs are also desirable to mosquitoes.

Where will I find mosquitoes?

Mosquitoes live in a variety of outdoor habitats, including heavily wooded areas, athletic fields, tall grasses around ponds or lakes, or in yards. They like to gather around areas of standing water like ponds, drainage ditches, marshes, clogged gutters, buckets, and other containers that collect water. When the weather is at its hottest during the middle of the day, mosquitoes rest behind tree bark, in tall grass, along fences lines, under tree canopies, and in areas of dense vegetation.

How do I get rid of mosquitoes?

To solve your mosquito problem, it is best to partner with a professional. Pestout is committed to getting rid of mosquitoes and other pests, and keeping them out

 

How to Get Rid of Mosquitoes Indoors and Out

Summer is a season of hot weather, pool parties and, unfortunately, mosquitoes and their bites. Since the number of people getting diseases from mosquitoes, ticks and flea bites has more than tripled in the U.S. in recent years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it’s a very good idea to take precautions.

How to Get Rid of Mosquitoes

Eliminate standing water. Mosquitoes need stagnant water to breed. It doesn’t take much stagnant water to support a mosquito colony. “Even a little soda cap can breed mosquitoes,” This means that if you have a water feature as part of your garden or yard design, then it should have a pump or recirculating system, or be changed out frequently

Look for hidden water sources. Common culprits where stagnant water may collect include flower pots and saucers, sand buckets, tire swings, children’s toys, grill covers, garbage can lids and baby pools. But there are many other places where water may lurk undetected — gutters, tarps, metal pieces of furniture, even in a fence post where the cap has come off.

Bromeliad plants can collect water in the center portion of the plant that can become a mosquito breeding ground. “Daytime-biting mosquitoes, the ones that spread Zika, will look for plants like that,”

How to Protect Yourself From Mosquitoes

Make sure your home is sealed. Be sure that screens on your windows are in good working order, and that your screen doors close securely. Patch or replace screens that have holes or don’t fit windows properly. The CDC advises people to sleep under a mosquito bed net if air conditioned or screened rooms are not available, or if sleeping outdoors.

 

ULTIMATE MOSQUITO GUIDE

Species and Habitat

Mosquitoes are found everywhere except Antarctica. Common habitats include swamps or marshes, forested areas, lowlands and anywhere that water is present. Most common mosquitoes fall into three groups: Culex, Anopheles and Aedes species.

Permanent Water Mosquitoes V. Floodwater Mosquitoes

Some species always lay eggs in water (Culex, Anopheles), while others (Aedes) lay eggs near water in areas likely to eventually get wet. The eggs are able to dry out and can wait for floodwaters for a year or more. When covered by water, they begin to hatch.

Do mosquitoes bite year-round?

Mosquitoes are active in warm weather, and most species are dormant in winter. For most of the United States, mid-March through late summer is peak season. Anytime the temperature is above 50 degrees Fahrenheit, bet on mosquitoes being active.

Do all mosquitoes bite?

No, only female mosquitoes require bloodmeals; the proteins in blood help them lay more eggs. Male mosquitoes live off of nectar, plant sap and honeydew

How do mosquitoes bite?

The mosquito “bites” by piercing the skin with its proboscis. Inside the proboscis are two small tubes; one injects the enzymes that prevent clotting and dull the pain, while the other sucks up blood.

 

How to Avoid Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes are a big question if you’re new to the tropics or coming with children. Protecting yourself is easy, once you know a few local tricks (and what to bring with you)

Absolutely the best trick in the book – put mosquito protection ‘up your sleeve’! All of the mosquito-repelling bracelets and wristbands pictured are totally natural, and DEET-free.

our choice here is only aesthetic – the plastic spiral bracelets are the most popular and come individually wrapped to ensure efficacy. The neoprene wristbands are really soft, and a good idea for kids, babies and sensitive-skin wussies. Their protective magic lasts between 10-15 days. Both varieties are totally waterproof.

Do you need mosquito repellent? As a piece of fresh meat, yes. YES. Left to cavort as they like, even one mosquito can inflict a dotty red mess on your legs. The few seconds it takes to apply some bug spray will ensure your trip is so much more enjoyable.

How to prevent mosquito bites? As when escaping a crocodile on foot… you don’t need to out-run him, you just need to out-run someone else. As such, my first recommendation is to go ‘Incognito’

A Brake Transmission Repair Company Can Fix An Array Of Vehicle Issues

A Brake Transmission Repair Company Can Fix An Array Of Vehicle Issues

How Can I Extend the Life of My Automatic Transmission?

Even though you may not be as actively shifting through gears as you would with a manual transmission, drivers with automatic transmissions need to pay attention to their transmission to ensure its longevity. One rule of thumb, according to Transmasters and A Automotive Services, is to have automatic transmission fluid changed every 15,000 miles or once a year. Here are some other tips to prolong the life of your automatic transmission:

Automatic Transmission Fluid should be changed every 15,000 miles or Once a Year

  • Transmission Filter Along with automatic transmission fluid changes, the transmission filter should be changed at the same time if the filter is easily accessible.
  • Do you do a lot of Towing or Driving through the Mountains? If so, A Automotive Services suggests having a transmission cooler installed. Towing and mountain driving puts more strain on the transmission, which causes more heat. Installing a transmission cooler can help.
  • Take it Easy when the Transmission is Cold It is OK to drive your car without taking more than 30 to 60 seconds to warm it up just be sure to take it easy the first couple of miles. It easily takes 2 to 3 miles to get your transmission up to operating temperature.
  • Come to a Complete Stop Before Changing Gears Transmasters suggests coming to a complete stop before shifting to reverse from drive or drive to reverse.

 

Transmission Maintenance tips

Automatic Transmission Maintenance

To help keep your automatic transmission working properly and dependable, we put together a list of maintenance to follow. Even if you already do a great job following recommendations for common car maintenances, you may not be familiar with the recommended maintenance for your automatic transmission. In this article, we will share a few tips on caring for your automatic transmission.

Check Transmission Fluid

Your transmission fluid is a good indication of the overall health of your transmission. Taking time to inspect your transmission fluid is well worth it. Low transmission fluid can lead to serious problems. So, be sure to be aware of leaking or low transmission fluid.

You can check your transmission fluid by removing the dipstick labeled ‘Transmission Fluid’, then reinserting to get an even more accurate reading. Examine the color of the fluid. It should be red or colored, not black. Black is an indication that the transmission fluid is burnt. The consistency should be milky, not muddy.

Transmission Flush

Just like changing transmission fluid is a must. Occasionally getting a professional flush for your transmission fluid is good maintenance too. Over time transmission fluid can build up and get old fluid gunk trapping in your transmission. A professional transmission flush helps to ensure the torque converter and cooler lines are cleaned out from the old fluid.

 

Avoid Heavy Towing

Heavy towing requires factory heavy-duty transmission parts, that includes shocks, springs, and cooling system. Heavy loads put a lot of stress on your vehicle, so if it is not made for heavy towing and can burn up your transmission fast. It is best to avoid heavy towing if your vehicle is not factory-made for heavy towing.

Cooling System Maintenance

The cooling system is vital for the health of your transmission and engine. Its main purpose is to prevent the engine from becoming too hot and to keep your transmission fluid cool. It keeps the transmission fluid at an ideal temperature when the vehicle is moving and shifting gears. To help prevent overheating, it is important to keep up with the maintenance of your cooling system.

Drive with Care

Be careful to not drive recklessly. Give your vehicle a minute or so to warm up before you drive out the parking lot or reverse from your garage. When you are quick to drive it can put unnecessary stress on your automatic transmission and engine.

The same goes for driving with your foot slightly on the brake. A small amount of pressure on your brake can strain your transmission and engine. Another helpful tip to keep your automatic transmission in good health is to bring your vehicle to a complete stop before switching from reverse to drive or from park to drive.

 

Overlooked services that can extend the life of your vehicle

Servicing your vehicle is usually the last thing on your mind. The daily grind of life tends to take all of your focus, so unless it is actively causing an issue, your vehicle’s maintenance schedule is out of sight, out of mind. The problem is that ignoring that schedule will eventually cause a failure, costing you more time and money that necessary. As the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

While oil changes and tire service are the most common maintenance items, list of the most overlooked services that you should keep in mind the next time you change the oil.

Power steering service

This is one of those overlooked services that rarely comes up in a situation before it is too late. Over time, the fluid in your power steering system picks up dirty and moisture, clogging the steering components, eventually causing a failure. Adding a power steering fluid additive will help maintain your system’s function, as will a periodic flushing of the system.

Wheel alignment

How your wheels are aligned not only effects how the car handles, but also the life of your tires and suspension components. The alignment can fall out of adjustment from several factors, including component wear and potholes. Hitting a curb is a sure-fire way to jar the alignment as well. When the alignment is out, the car may pull to one side or the other, steer erratically, and may even dart across the lanes with just a small move of the wheel, making driving the car a perilous adventure. Not only have that, but even a slight mis-alignment leads to uneven and premature tire worn.  An annual wheel alignment ensures that your wheels are pointed the right way.

Differential service

The differential is the component that transfers input from the transmission to the wheels. Some front wheel drive vehicles incorporate this into the transmission, but some have separate units, and all rear wheel drive vehicles have a rear differential. The rear axles an differential are housed in the rear end housing. Over time, the gear oil breaks down, reducing its viscosity and ability to properly lubricate the differential and wheel bearings. Additionally, the transfer case (for vehicles equipped with one) should be serviced at the same time as the differential. Most manufacturers have a set maintenance schedule for the differential and transfer case fluids.

 

Timing belt replacement

Not all vehicles have timing belts. DO NOT confuse this with the accessory drive belt, which drives all of the engine accessories such as the AC compressor, alternator and water pump. The timing belt connects the crankshaft to the camshaft(s). Some engines have external belts, while others use internal belts. Regardless of how they are accessed, these are incredibly important to the function of the engine. If the engine is what is known as an “interference” engine, a slipping or broken timing belt can not only keep the engine from running, but can destroy the internals of the engine itself as the valves and piston can collide. Each manufacturer has specific maintenance schedules for the timing belt, make sure you check your owner’s manual. If your odometer is showing 50-60,000 miles, you need to get your timing belt checked. This is one of the overlooked services that can really hit your wallet hard if you ignore it.

Transmission service

Leaving your transmission fluid unchecked for 100,000 miles it usually a recipe for disaster, so don’t let it go that long. Follow your manufacturer’s guidelines on transmission filter and fluid change, and be sure to check the fluid level at every oil change. Burnt or dark-colored fluid is a sign of an overheated transmission and continued use without servicing could lead to internal damage.

Modular Home Builder Lead Industry Green Building Efforts

Modular Home Builder Lead Industry Green Building Efforts

Design Guide

What style of house are you looking for?

There are a wide range of styles available in homes, do you prefer a modern look or something more classical? Think about the materials and finishes not only on the outside but the inside of your home as well. Display homes are a great way to see how you can use these features

Take into account the amount of bedrooms and living rooms you think you will need now and in the future. Do you want a terrace for outdoor entertaining or maybe a larger kitchen because you love to cook? It is also important to take into account any landscaping features you will want in the future: barbeque areas, feature gardens, swimming pools, everything about your block is a part of your design.

Do you own any land or are you looking?

We can help you find the right block of land for you, our consultants keep up to date with the latest land releases, prices and have years of experience in finding the right land for our clients.

What is your land like?

It may be flat or have a slope, is it an irregular shape? With the right design these differences can compliment your home.

Do you have a location in mind?

Do you want to build in a new development? If so there may be encumbrances & design guidelines for that area, these are a set of rules to maintain a certain standard of design within a development and are a part of your land contract with the developer. Our consultants are experienced in knowing exactly what is needed in each development and their knowledge is helpful in knowing what is required before you start choosing designs. Our sales consultants will be able to advise you of which designs will suit certain developments, and display homes are a great way of seeing encumbrance approved plans first hand.

 

Tips to Help You Navigate the Home Building Process

“What is my budget?” “Will I have enough storage space?” These are only a few of the questions you may be asking as you begin to think about the home building process. Building a house from the ground up allows you to create the perfect space for your family’s needs—from selecting the floor plan to customizing finishes suited to your lifestyle and taste. Take into consideration these tips to help guide you through the various steps to building a house so you can create a space that is a perfect fit!

Budget for More Than You Expect

Regardless of how carefully you budget for your new construction home, there is always the chance costs may change. Whether it be an element not included in the original estimate provided by the builder or project extensions, costs can be tricky to calculate from the start. For example, your builder may not factor additions like electrical and gas meters or window coverings into an initial figure. Elements such as landscaping or fencing might also be costs not covered by the estimate. Additionally, it is wise to budget for last-minute changes like swapping out any fittings or materials that do not match your expectations. The more room you leave yourself in your budget, the better.

Choose the Right Builder

This is likely one of the most important decisions you will make during your home building process. Make sure any builders you consider are licensed and insured in the state you live in. You will also want to ensure your chosen contractor is a member of the National Association of Home Builders. Browsing a builder’s past work can help you determine whether their designs suit your style. Some home builders may specialize in constructing traditional two-story homes, for example, while others offer expertise in open-concept single-story houses. Reviews are another great resource to consider when searching for a high-quality building partner.

Understand Your Agreement

Carefully read through your builder contract to ensure you understand its contents fully. It is important to know exactly what the construction costs do and do not cover so you are not taken by surprise by any extra lines appearing on the final invoice. Additionally, check to see if the contract includes warranty and insurance information

Have Your Finances in Order

In order to start the home building process, you will need a construction home loan. This type of financing is structured so that the lender will not release all the funds at once. Instead, the lender will determine how much you need for the project and then release the funds in periodic payments, or draws, to the builder. These draws will be paid out after each stage of construction is finished.

 

Tips for Working With a Homebuilder

Many of us aspire to build custom homes. The idea of creating your own living space appeals to many people. What most people do not know is how frustrating, tedious, and time-consuming the process can be. However, there are ways to avoid most issues by working with a licensed home builder. How you communicate your desires and needs with the homebuyer will determine how much you love the final product.

Be Picky When Choosing a Builder

Before you get the ball rolling on your home building project, you need to spend time and due diligence finding the right home builder. You will be working with this person or company regularly for a significant period of time, so you want to find the right fit.

Make Construction Choices Before Breaking Ground

Once you are full-steam ahead with construction, any delays can cost significant amounts of time and money. This means you need to choose your materials, paints, appliances, finishes, textures, landscaping and other custom elements. If you have not made choices early you could also run into a situation where you cannot find the necessary materials in time.

Stay in Regular Contact With Your Builder

Communication is absolutely essential to the building process. When you regularly communicate with your builder you are tuned into the process in a way that more hands-off clients are not. If you have any questions about the process you can simply call, text or email the builder to get more information.

Be Understanding When Delays Happen

Unless you work in the construction field, you have no idea how many different things can go wrong at a job site. There are rain and bad weather delays, code enforcement issues, labor problems, vendor hassles and so many more things that can go wrong when building a home.

 

Your Building Journey

There’s something very special about building a new home. From helping you choose the perfect design through to handing over the keys to your new dream home, we’re proud to be part of the whole journey.

Steps to prepare your building site

We can’t wait to deliver your dream home. In this video we’re going to take you through the key steps needed to turn your raw block of land into a site that is ready for the build of your home to commence.

Choosing your design

After experiencing our display homes or viewing them online our Building and Design Consultants can walk you through designs that align to your lifestyle needs, block of land and budget. Should you like to modify a design they will work with you to achieve the home you desire. We’ll help you find the best home design. Once you have selected your preferred design we’ll then undertake a site inspection, complete soil tests, conduct a land survey. Once complete we’ll meet again to discuss the outcomes, present the quote, generate a Consolidated Tender and outline the next steps.

A little help from the MyChoice Experts

Once you have selected your preferred design and provided a deposit we will start to work with you to create a home that is uniquely yours. Our team of interior stylists will work with you to select your home’s colours, fixtures, features and appliances, all within a central location at one of our MyChoice Design Studios.

Building layer by layer

When all approvals are finalised and we have received Authority to Commence Construction we’ll move to the build phase. Our Construction Team will now order all materials, schedule labour and prepare your site for work to commence. During this exciting period you will see your home progress from excavation and pouring of the slab, through to seeing your home visibly take shape as the frame and roof is installed. Your Construction Supervisor will invite you to visit the site on numerous occasions throughout the build including prior to the installation of linings and the kitchen, we’ll even meet to discuss your ceramic tiling.

 

THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO BUILDING YOUR DREAM HOME ON A BUDGET

If you want to build a home on a budget, your homebuilder will be your greatest ally. Working with your goals and financial plan, a dedicated builder will develop a personalized plan to maximize your vision. If you are just starting to explore the homebuilding process, start shopping around for an experienced home builder who is committed to great communication and flexible pricing.

Find an Experienced Builder

When a tropical storm makes landfall in southwest Florida, or the summer sun beats down on your home for months on end, you’ll rest easy knowing your trusted your custom home to an experienced builder. Unlike other industries that can skate by faking expertise, for home builders, the proof of workmanship is in the product. Even before you meet with a new builder, take the time to conduct preliminary research online. Do they showcase pictures of completed projects? Are they just starting to build homes or do they have a list of satisfied customers? Most of this information will be available on their website.

Shop Around for Pricing

Since it can be difficult to gauge a competitive price, never settle with the first estimate. Multiple estimates give you a great frame of reference for negotiating the best value for your dollar. Once you gather multiple estimates, take the time to weigh the costs and benefits of each one. Although one builder may give you a better price, it may lack a make or break feature.

Communication is Key

Once you’ve shopped around for a builder, but before you sign on the dotted line, communicate all your needs and concerns with your home builder. Are there any special design features you want to include? Do you have any major pricing concerns or timelines restraining your budget? Get all of your questions answered before the build team breaks ground. If major design changes need to be made after the process begins, it will cost you time and money.

Construction Decisions Save Money

A great builder can save you money, but the price of a home is mostly determined by decisions you make during the planning process. These decisions include factors like construction materials and location. The more you know before the initial consultation, the better prepared you will be to save time and money.

You Don’t Have To Be An Expert To Choose Your Hardwood Flooring

You Don’t Have To Be An Expert To Choose Your Hardwood Flooring

Storing Your Hardwood Flooring

For the do-it-yourself crowd, there’s a difficult balance between what you want to do, getting the materials to do it, and finding time to do the work. When you buy hardwood flooring to install later, you can store the materials indefinitely. However, without a bit of preparation you could ruin the wood before it ever leaves the box.

BUT DON’T I NEED TO ACCLIMATIZE THE WOOD?

In the past, acclimatizing your wood by leaving it for days or even weeks in its new environment was standard practice; with earlier manufacturing processes, this actually helped the wood dry out. Modern hardwood flooring is often kiln dried, however; this means that when it’s boxed it’s ready to install, and should be installed as soon as possible. Ask about the specific recommendations for your hardwood product because details can change depending on the process and type of wood. Generally speaking, if you need to store your hardwood flooring for a period of time the wood should be exposed to as little change as possible from the warehouse.

HARDWOOD FLOORING STORAGE: WHAT COULD GO WRONG

The National Wood Flooring Association recommends keeping the humidity in your home between 30 and 50 percent, and the temperature between 15C and 24C (60F and 75F). These same guidelines apply to the location where you will be storing your hardwood. Most problems that you’ll encounter with hardwood flooring are related to water. Keeping your your wood away from leaks or potential flooding is pretty straightforward, but keeping it away from humidity requires a bit more planning. Everything from poor ventilation (i.e. in a crawl space) to washing and cleaning activities can add humidity to the air or even prevent moisture from evaporating.

Going back to the old argument for acclimatizing, working with wood that’s had time to absorb extra moisture can cause a variety of problems:

The planks could become warped. Each individual piece will react to moisture independently, which could cause difficulty when it’s time to install; the wood could, for example, expand on one end but remain the same on the other.

Every piece could expand slightly. Once installed, when the seasons change and the humidity drops, each plank will shrink back; this is what causes gapping.

Other damage could occur. Staining, splitting and cracks can derail your re flooring project before you even start

ONLY UNLOAD WHEN CONDITIONS ARE GOOD

When the weather is wet due to rain or snow, or if it’s particularly humid, avoid loading or unloading hardwood flooring. As noted above, any moisture can damage wood in different ways like changing its shape or developing cracks as it dries. However, wood that actually gets wet must be allowed to thoroughly dry out or it could also develop mold or mildew. If you manage to avoid damaging the wood outright, drying wet hardwood is a slow process that can take weeks.

 

Everything You Need to Know About Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors are one of the most popular flooring choices because of their durability and timelessness. Not only do they look great, but who doesn’t love sliding across a polished hardwood floor in their socks from time to time? Hardwood floors can make a house feel like home.

Thinking about installing hardwood floors in your own home? You’ve come to the right place. Our guide to hardwood flooring will tell you everything you need to know about hardwood floors before you commit to a purchase. Also, we have licensed, bonded, and insured contractors to help you with your decision at any time.

Types of Boards

There are two main types of hardwood used to make hardwood floorboards: solid and engineered. Both types are made from 100% wood, but each has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Solid Hardwood

As you might have guessed, solid hardwood floors are made of solid wood. One board of solid hardwood is made from a single piece of wood. A solid hardwood board is typically about ¾ of an inch thick, but it can be sanded and refinished as often as needed. A solid hardwood floor is permanently affixed to a subfloor made of plywood or a similar material.

Engineered Hardwood

One board of engineered hardwood is made from several pieces of wood, typically three to five, which are bonded together into layers. The top layer of the engineered hardwood is usually hardwood with cheaper layers of plywood or other types of wood underneath. Engineered hardwood is cheaper and easier to install than solid hardwood.

 

Things You Can Do to Prevent Damaging Your Hardwood Floors

Chances are you have hardwood floors somewhere in your home. While they may seem durable and long-lasting, they will last better with proper care. Aside from sweeping, cleaning, and mopping, there are more ways you can protect those floors.

Have a welcome mat

With the front door being the heaviest traffic area, it is more prone to damage from the outdoors and weather conditions. Protect your flooring with rugs in areas around the house that receive the most foot traffic. Set up an entry mat or rug right at your entrance door to protect your hardwood floors from any dust, dirt, or grime.

Remove shoes when inside

The easiest way to take care of your hardwood floors is to remove your shoes at the entrance door. By not wearing shoes in the house you eliminate all the tracked-in dirt that can damage the wood floor’s finishing.

Clean messes right away

Spills happen, and when they do it’s important to clean them right away. Leaving liquids of any kind on a hardwood floor can cause the finish to dull over time, and leave a residue on the surface. For an effective clean, use a microfiber cloth to gently wipe the surface dry.

Polish the flooring

It’s important to give your hardwood floors some love and attention. Wipe down your floors when they start to look a little dull and it will go a long way. Pay close attention to the flooring and determine if the hardwood is covered in polyurethane or wax. For wax surfaces, use a cleaner that’s specified for wax-coated floors. For polyurethane flooring, try using good old fashioned vinegar and water to clean.

 

How to Care for Hardwood Floors

Taking proper care of hardwood floors is essential if you want them to last a long time. Routine cleaning is the key to protecting and maintaining your floor’s appearance. Particular cleaning protocols need to be followed to prevent damage to the floor’s surface. Aside from regular cleaning, damage can be minimized by observing a few maintenance and prevention measures. The longevity and durability of your hardwood floors can be preserved with routine cleaning and proper maintenance.

Cleaning Hardwood Floors

Dust every day with a microfiber mop or Swiffer. Microfiber cloths trap dirt, particles, pet hair and other household allergens with static electricity. Microfiber mop pads are more effective than sweeping with a broom. They’re also safer, since some broom bristles can scratch the floor’s surface.

Vacuum every week with a soft-bristled floor-brush attachment. Dust the floor with the microfiber mop before you begin. If you leave a lot of debris on the floor when you vacuum, this can scratch the floor’s surface. After using the microfiber pad, carefully vacuum the floor using a floor-brush attachment.

Damp-mop once per month with a hardwood floor cleaner. Use a damp flat mop with a microfiber head. Do not dampen it with water. Instead, mist the mop head lightly with a cleaner made specifically for hardwood. Use the minimum amount of cleaner required to get the floor clean.

Follow a regular cleaning routine to maintain your hardwood floors. Regular cleaning is the most effective thing you can do to keep your hardwood floors looking great and damage-free. Create a cleaning routine and stick to it. For best results, dust every day with a micro-fiber cloth. Vacuum biweekly with a soft-bristled floor-brush attachment. Damp-mop once per month with a hardwood floor cleaner

 

HELPFUL TIPS TO PROTECT YOUR HARDWOOD FLOORS THIS WINTER

There is no doubt about it, this winter has been one of the colder ones in recent memory, and while there are no doubt many things that need to be done around your home in order to keep your house in good shape this winter, it is important that you don’t forget about your floors when doing so. If you have hardwood floors in your home, you might be surprised to find out just how rough the winter months can be on them, and how easy it is for them to sustain damage in that time. Hardwood flooring is a major investment, and with the right care, it can be one that you and your family can continue to enjoy for many long years to come. In an effort to make sure that is the case, our team of professionals have taken the time to put together this short list going over a few helpful tips that might help you better care for your hardwood flooring this winter and keep it well protected going into the spring.

Use Protective Rugs & Covers

As anyone who has lived in the area for any length of time can tell you, during the winter months, the entryways of your home are going to get dirty. Between snow, dirt, and salt, there is going to be a wealth of that nasty slush that is going to be tracked into your home during the winter months as everyone comes and goes on a daily basis, and it can really take a toll on your hardwood floors over time if you aren’t careful. Salt in particular can leave behind a white residue that is highly abrasive and can scratch up your floors very badly. Using rugs and covers around these areas of your home will help to reduce how much of this is tracked in throughout your home, helping to spare your hardwood floors from the worst of it, as well as reducing the chances of slipping and falling.

Sweep & Clean Your Floors Regularly

As we stated above, there is no shortage of filth and debris that is going to be getting tracked into your home during the winter months, and one of the best defenses against these is just to make sure you are regularly sweeping and cleaning your floors to remove it. Puddles of water from melting snow and ice can be particularly destructive to your hardwood floors, and as such, it is important to make sure you clean them up immediately. After absorbing the moisture with a towel or cloth, it is a good idea to give your floors a good mopping to remove any abrasive debris that might still be in place before drying the floors once more. Be careful when mopping these areas, however, as if you have debris that gets mixed into the water, you could actually wind up causing damage.

Keep Your Home At The Right Temperature & Level Of Humidity

Lower temperatures and drier air can both be rough on your hardwood flooring. The lower temperatures of winter, combined with the drier air can actually cause your floorboards to shrink or otherwise warp out of shape. This makes it extremely important to ensure you are maintaining the right temperature in your home, but also the right level of humidity. As your boards shrink and dry out, it is very easy for them to warp out of shape, crack, or split, causing irreversible damage to the wood itself. Making sure that you are running your homes’ heating system will help to prevent much of this shrinking, and by running a humidifier in your home, you can ensure that your home has the right level of moisture in the air to keep your hardwood floors from drying out and becoming damaged.

Save Money On Exterior Painting And Get The Best Job Done

Save Money On Exterior Painting And Get The Best Job Done

How to Pick the Perfect Trim Paint Color

So how do you take the guesswork out of picking trim paint colors, especially when you’re navigating the process online or even on your phone? For starters, it helps that Clare has narrowed down hundreds of options to a carefully curated 56 different trim paint colors. From there, follow Gibbon’s advice, below, on selecting the right paint finish and a choosing a hue that complements the wall color. You’ll be surprised how much the right trim color can change the entire look of the room.

Pick a paint trim color that complements the walls

“You want to keep color temperature in mind when choosing a white trim paint,” says Gibbons. “A warm white is a perpetual favorite that’s versatile and inviting, but is also the best choice to pair with other warm hues like reds, oranges or warm neutrals,” she advises. And if the walls are blues or greens? Opt for a cool white trim color. And if all else fails: “A clean, neutral white will have a fresh, modern look that pairs well with pretty much any color.” Just like you would any other color, test your trim paint to make sure you love it in your space and that it looks good with your walls,” Gibbons recommends. Never underestimate the power of the paint swatch.

Consider contrast for a bold style

Deciding between a matching or contrasting paint trim color is a matter of personal style, Gibbons says. “If you have a more classic style throughout your home, a crisp white is a no-fail choice no matter what wall color it is paired with.” And if your look is more adventurous? Try a bolder combo. “For example, black trim with white walls makes a big impact and really saturated colors like our Deep Dive would look great against a softer blue like Headspace.”

Go with a semigloss finish

When it comes to picking a finish for the trim paint, Gibbons takes out the guesswork: It’s semigloss for the win.Semi-gloss is the best finish for trim not only because it’s easier to clean and more durable, but it also helps to reflect the light in a room, creating a subtle contrast that allows your trims to pop against your walls. And for the walls? It’s eggshell all the way. “Eggshell is the best finish for walls because it’s matte enough that it won’t highlight imperfections, but it has just enough sheen that it’s more durable and easy to clean.

Keep it consistent

“The trim color doesn’t have to match throughout your entire home, but you should aim to keep the color palette throughout your home feeling cohesive,” Gibbons advises. “In common areas, keep the trim consistent and play with color in individual rooms!”

Paint the trim first

Should you paint the trim or the wall first? “This is often a hot debate,” Gibbons admits, “but after working with numerous professional painters, we believe in painting the trim before painting your walls, as the professionals do. In my experience, professional painters always painted the trim first since it is more detail oriented and it’s easy to fix any imperfections when you’re painting the walls.” Start out strong painting the detailed crown moldings, and afterwards, rolling paint on the walls will be a breeze.

 

Selecting the Perfect White

If your walls wear a color, whether soft or bold, then white trim is practically guaranteed to set them off well. In rooms with dark or intensely colored walls, white lightens and brightens, accenting the strong hue and bringing visual relief. In rooms with light or pastel walls, white trim makes the color look cleaner and clearer while introducing a mere hint of contrast.

Remember that white trim does not mean stark white — most paint manufacturers offer a range of whites that go from warm to cool. Also, the lightest shade on a paint card may function as a white when juxtaposed with your wall color.

To pick the right white, start with the paint chip of your wall color and hold it up to a variety of white or pale neutral chips to see which ones you like. Warm creamy tones pair well with warm or intense colors and warm neutrals, while clear or cool whites make good partners for cool colors, both saturated and muted.

 

Going with the same color

For a contemporary room, design experts suggest using techniques that help the trim blend with the room color. This can be achieved by painting the trim the same color as the walls or a tinted version of it. It gives the room a fresh, unified look. If the walls are warm-toned, it’s usually a good idea to stick with a warm trim. Likewise, pair cool wall tones with cool trim tones. Sticking with the same undertones keeps a room from looking disjointed and the colors from looking muddy. For open floor layouts, where rooms flow into each other or are adjoined by open entryways, keeping trim style and color consistent throughout provides a sense of cohesiveness, especially if the wall color changes from room to room.

Going lighter

For classic or traditional interiors, using a white or off-white paint can really play up the trim and bring out its historical or intricate qualities. And many design experts consider white the perfect color for any trim, regardless of interior style or wall color. With dark walls, white trim lightens and brightens the room while making the wall color really “pop.” And when walls are painted light or muted colors, white trim makes the color appear crisp and clean. Pure white, which is often thought of as cool or blue white, is ideal in a room with great natural light. It pairs well with cool-toned walls, has the most reflective quality, and is ideal for southern climates and ocean views. In northern climates, or in rooms with limited natural light, pure white may look too gray. For these conditions, use creamy whites with warm (yellow) undertones.

 

Darker Trim to Add Contrast

Light and neutral colors are popular in home interiors. Maybe your home has a lot of white on white already. It is a serene and calm look, but what if you want to add drama using existing features? A darker color of trim can go a long way in adding contrast. Darker moldings also look great with lighter brighter walls, so if you prefer lighter walls, the darker trim can be an excellent choice!

Trim as an accent color

I find that the molding in the room, is a unique place to add the accent color to your room. There is not a lot of it generally speaking. It is as if you have outlined the room with a ribbon on color.  It allows you to add color to your space, without it being a big commitment.

You do not have to paint all of your moldings a darker color to accomplish this. Black doors, for instance, look spectacular with light to medium baseboards and surrounding door molding. You could paint the trim darker in one room or the entire house. Don’t be ruled by your color choices. Experiment, make changes, and enjoy developing your own style.

 

Using Existing Dark Trim

A lot of older homes have darker stained wood trim. For those who love their historic home, painting the original stained wood is cringeworthy!

Whether or not you leave your dark trim untouched depends on its current quality. If your home is full of well-made, vintage architectural details, you might want to stick with it. If you are surrounded by 1970s orange-toned wood-paneling, however, this is likely another story. There will be times when it is worth it to keep the molding surrounding the windows and doors, and replace the wall treatment so the molding stands out, as it should.

Choosing Colors for Dark Trim

Like choosing a white for your trim, choosing a slate blue or other color is not as easy as it looks. Blacks and greys have undertones just like whites and creams. Your chosen color will have an intensity to it. A softer or dustier black is much different than a deep, pitch black.

Using muted tones is a good rule of thumb to avoid overwhelming your space. If you are only painting a door or a small area of trim, you can go deeper.

Think about the other colors in the room. Match the undertones for best results.

If you need help creating a color scheme, check out our Color911 app! You will find some great deep, dark shades, and plenty of inspiration. Create your own palettes by adding your wall color to your palette, then play with creating colors that you would consider for your moldings. You will save time and money by matching your chosen colors with your walls and furnishings before committing to purchasing or applying paint.

Find A Good Family Law Attorney

Find A Good Family Law Attorney

How to prepare for Initial Consultation together

It can be said that the first appointment between a client and a lawyer is best described as a bit like a first date.

And, understand that this may be the first time that you have had to seek the assistance of a solicitor – let alone for something as personal as a Family Law matter. Because know this step can be quite daunting, popped together some handy tips to help the process to ease the nerves and anticipation for you, plus help the process run smoothly for both.

What to expect

Do not feel anxious about your first consultation with a lawyer. are here to help you through the process and are acting in your best interests. Everything you tell your lawyer in the first consultation (or at any time in fact) is confidential. So feel free to confide in your lawyer.

The initial consultation is usually a time to get to know your lawyer and to tell them what has brought you to them and to discuss your goals – that is, what you want to achieve at the end of the process. It is also an opportunity for you to ask the lawyer any specific questions you have (write down a list in advance so that you cover everything and you do not feel pressured in the consult to remember everything).

Being prepared on the outset will save you time and money. At Family Law have a questionnaire that send to all new clients for them to complete prior to their initial consultation. However not all solicitors provide that service, so it is recommended (however not a necessity) for you to bring along with you the following (mostly for financial matters):

A list of any specific questions you have.

A copy of your marriage certificate.

Children’s and former spouse’s names and dates of birth.

A copy of the children’s birth certificates.

The name of your former spouse’s solicitor (if they have one).

Any correspondence you have received from your former spouse or their solicitor.

A list of assets including the address of all real estate owned by you or your former spouse and any documents relating to their purchase or recent title searches.

Market appraisals of your home and any other real estate.

A list detailing all of the valuable property, such as cars, jewellery, appliances, cameras and electronic equipment and valuations.

A list of bank accounts, stocks, shares or other investments that you and your former spouse have, stating whether they are held singly or jointly and recent valuations (if any).

A list of debts including mortgages, personal loans, credit cards and charge accounts.

A list of monthly expenses.

Recent pay advice slips for you and/or your former spouse.

Copies of income tax returns for you and your former spouse for the past three years.

If you own a business or have an interest in a family company and/or trust, copies of the taxation returns and financial statements for the past three years.

Copies of medical insurance and life insurance policies for both you and your former spouse.

Copies of any superannuation documents for both you and your former spouse particularly the names of the superannuation funds in which either of you may have an interest.

If either you or your former spouse has been divorced, a copy of the divorce papers.

A list of your non-financial contribution to the household i.e. renovations, home decoration, child duties, garden work.

A list of assets owned by you and owned by your former spouse at the commencement of the relationship.

A list of any inheritances, gifts from family or friends to either you or your former spouse, windfalls such as lottery wins that you or your former spouse may have received during the relationship or following separation.

If you do not have any or all of the above, do not put off obtaining legal advice. An experienced Family Law solicitor will be able to properly advise you even if you do not have the documents, so as long as you are able to provide a rough idea of what is involved.

 

Principal Attorney

There are a lot of lawyers out there, and you might be wondering why choosing me is your best option. It’s a really good question – and one that you should ask yourself before you choose an attorney for any legal service. I’m not keen on bragging about myself, but I have a number of qualities that not only make me a good lawyer, but the right choice for a person in need.

An engaging speaker

Before I become an attorney, I worked as professional stage magician – and while I can’t make my legal opponents “disappear,” I’m exceptionally good at keeping an audience’s attention focused on what I am presenting. After more than 20 years in front of audiences, I’ve honed my communication skills to a tee, which means juries understand me and judges appreciate me, and these are the people you need to impress.

Willing to fight for you

I also hold a fourth degree black belt in American Karate, and a second degree black belt in Shotokan Karate-Do. I don’t back down from a challenge – in fact, I relish a good, clean fight. I’m not afraid to face off in the ring, and I’m not afraid to take on complex immigration, family law and criminal defense cases that other lawyers may deem unwinnable.

Am I going to work with you?

Sometimes. Sometimes, you’ll work with another attorney from the firm. Remember that part where I said I respect your time and money? I meant that. If all your case requires is the filing of some paperwork, then you’ll work with another attorney who’s overseen by me, because that will save you some bucks. If your case involves going to trial, then you best believe I’ll be right there with you.

Are you gonna be a bulldog?

Have you ever MET a bulldog? They’re the dopiest creatures on earth. They can’t even give birth without assistance because the puppies’ heads are too darn big. Trust me: you don’t want a bulldog.

 

How to Prepare for Divorce: Divorce Advice for Stay-At-Home Moms

Preparing for a divorce is a lot more than just picking up the phone and calling an attorney. There are the emotional aspects, financial, legal, and, of course, there are parenting issues. It means figuring out what life is going to look like when it’s all said and done and includes preparing your children for the transition. For the stay-at-home mom, there are additional concerns around income.

Emotional Preparation

When you realize that your marriage is over, it’s normal to feel a variety of emotions. Over time, you’ll experience all of the stages of grief. You’ll be grieving not only the loss of your relationship but also the loss of the dreams that you shared and the life that you knew. Give yourself time to process each stage of grief throughout the process.

The Emotional Stages of Divorce:

The stages of grief include denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Don’t rush through these stages as feeling and processing each of them is what will help you to move forward.

Denial

Have you felt like putting your head in the sand and acting like nothing is going on around you? That’s denial. Denial is your psyche’s way of protecting you from becoming emotionally overwhelmed. It’s a useful coping mechanism, as long as it doesn’t keep you from progressing onto the next stage.

Anger

When people are angry, they tend to lash out and to blame. Keep in mind that it’s completely normal. With that said, lashing out can do more damage than good. If you’re looking for productive ways to release the anger without further damaging your relationship, consider physical activity. If you don’t like to exercise, you may find writing angry letters to your spouse to get your feelings out to be helpful. You can always tear them up or burn them, but sometimes getting your emotions out of your head and down on paper can feel good. Of course, reaching out to a good friend who is willing to listen is always helpful.

 

How to Prepare for Divorce – Experts Share Their Best Tips

So if you’ve made the decision to divorce or are facing divorce proceedings because your spouse has stated their intention to end the marriage, you might be wondering what first steps you should take to get through this difficult process as quickly and amicably as you can.

We also asked a number of former clients who are now divorced what, if anything, they would have done differently to make their divorce more peaceful, fair, cost-effective and/or easier on their kids. And what divorce advice they have for others getting ready to start the divorce process with children.

“If you could offer your best tips on how to prepare for a divorce that’s peaceful, what would they be?”

Naturally, there are some differences of opinion, which we feel contribute to the authenticity of this resource.

But below are some of the most popular tips:

Get educated and do your research on how the divorce process works;

Learn about divorce mediation because it’s a peaceful divorce option;

Get organized financially;

Choose an experienced and competent professional to guide you through the proceedings;

Take responsibility and actively participate in your divorce negotiations;

Treat divorce negotiations with your spouse like a business transaction;

Get emotional support and learn how to lower your emotional reactivity;

Focus on your children and don’t badmouth your spouse in front of your kids;

Stay in your integrity;

Focus on the big picture.

 

THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT HIGH ASSET DIVORCE: Q&A WITH FAMILY LAW ATTORNEY

Every divorce is emotionally and financially challenging. Cases involving high-net-worth individuals (HNWI) are especially complex as there is more to be divided and therefore, greater expertise required to reach a settlement. You’ve worked hard for what you have and without solid representation, assets such as your homes, businesses, investment properties and savings are at risk.

What are the common questions that clients ask at the early stages of divorce?

There are three big questions that all clients ask: Am I going to be ok financially? What am I entitled to? What will I have to part with? Clients want to know what this process is going to look like, so I always endeavor to quell some of these feelings of uncertainty by providing a roadmap. Our first step towards answering those questions is within the documents we ask clients to bring in for their initial consultation; they serve as a starting point and help us get a clearer picture of their current state of affairs.

Why are an increasing number of HNWI’s choosing mediation over trial?

I have been a family law mediator for 24 years. When I first began as a divorce attorney, I tried 40-50 cases per year (which is a lot). Since then, the process has changed significantly. In recent years, mediation has become the preferred method of resolution; especially in high asset divorces, where privacy is of chief importance. Some individuals do not realize that as soon as a case is filed in court, it goes on the public record, leaving anyone with the ability to take a look at your situation by paying a quick trip to the courthouse

How long does the process take?

divorce can be accomplished within a minimum of 90 days, however most high-asset divorces take upwards of one year to be finalized. This is largely due to the amount of data collection and expertise required. Because HNWI have significant and complex assets, the services of appraisers, valuators and forensic accountants are frequently sought out to ensure assets are accurately valued. Apart from real properties and businesses, there are less obvious assets that also require expert valuation. From comprehensive in-the-box Barbie dolls and rare guitar collections to bank accounts, everything you’ve acquired as a couple must have a number put on it, and to do it right does take time.

What changes in lifestyle can high-net-worth clients expect?

Clients often experience the biggest financial adjustment to their lifestyles when they look at their assets and realize that they’re going to have to divide it fairly and equitably (not necessarily 50/50). Both their net worth and income stream are going to be, without a doubt, impacted.

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